Just found bed bugs, moving in 8 days(3 posts)
I am a tenant who is moving at the end of the month (in 8 days). I recently discovered a bed bug infestation and I’m looking for some advice. The PCO is coming today to treat with pyrethroids. Roommate and I have washed/dried all of our clothes, bedding, and curtains on high heat and vacuumed the entire apartment.
My questions are:
1) How big is the infestation likely to be? (details about my experience below)
2) What kind of precautions should I take with my stuff that I can’t put into the washing machine / dryer? For example I have tools, bicycle supplies, books, binders, etc. Should I spray ALL of them with alcohol? Is that overkill?
3) I am going to encase my bed and box spring today, so they will be encased when I move. Any tips on moving them without ripping the encasements? If they rip is it sufficient to duct tape them?
4) Should I put down any treatments in my new apartment? I was thinking of putting down lines of diatomaceous earth so that bed bugs cannot e.g. cross from my closet into my room.
Here’s some background. My first reaction occurred on July 27 (1 bite, knee). Then another July 28 (3 bites in a row, foot). Next on August 9 (2 bites 1 ft apart, thigh). The last was on August 20 (1 bite, foot). In between being bit I was away on 4-5 day trips.
The bites are extremely itchy so I think I noticed all of them.
After the last one I did a very very thorough inspection and found a discarded skin with excrement next to it on the underside of my box spring. Then putting the sheets back on the bed, I found a live bed bug walking around freshly fed and bagged him! The PCO confirmed this was a bed bug. I found 2 other skins that may have been from bed bugs, but I'm not certain.
I’m a renter in a multistory apartment complex in the northeast. I have one roommate; he searched his room through and through but found no evidence of bed bugs.
I have been traveling a lot in the last 6 months, particularly to New York City, so my best guess is that the bugs came from there.
Thank you so much for the help. This site is a great resource and I’m very grateful that so many PCOs are willing to give advice!
not a PCO, but this is out of my personal experience thus far, both on the site and working with a PCO to get my first treatment (today!!)
Bag all of your clothes. wash them on hot if they need to be washed, if not, drying on the hottest setting will suffice. put the clean clothes in SEPARATE BAGS, not the ones that you put the contaminated clothes in. (clear contractor bags would work best, but ive had difficulty getting access to those. I have some sterilite bins which are absolutely wonderful, and other than that i double bagged everything in trash bags and simply labeled anything i may need to open right away)
books: if they're soft cover, just flip through it. anything moving will appear quickly. I'm not sure what to do if they ARE contaminated, but its highly unlikely. bag any books that aren't. if they are hard cover, inspect the binding (you know how there sometimes can be a space there) hold the book upside-down, flip through the pages. **unless someone knows a better way, throw contaminated books out**
Anything with a hard surface, clean with alcohol. Apparently, while this does not kill eggs per se, if its alcohol and then a warm washcloth it can "rupture"/damage them. (this is directly from my PCO)
Shoes-- inspect, do the same thing. Spray with alcohol.
make sure none of the bags have holes (most of mine are actually in crates and then in a trash bag).
DE couldn't hurt too, it would be useful to get some climbups or a monitor just to be sure.
and in my personal opinion, being as thorough as possible is better.
I know in our case, i figured if we even had an infestation, it would be a new one. Little did I know that the building has had bed bugs in the past and has never been properly treated (my landlord believes in DIY treatment, but has clearly not researched it at all, and has already given us a few health hazards), so its likely my infestation is a year plus old and hard to treat.
Our PCO outright said that he would have turned down the case if our landlord called instead of us.
This isn't to scare you, but I don't think there is really a good estimate of how bad an infestation could be without a professional. Hope for the best, plan for the worst.
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